21 July 2008

Crystal Light powder cups make kid-safe condiment keepers

Michelle has found a great re-use for the little cups that Crystal Light mix comes in:

My 2 year old daughter has just discovered ketchup, ranch dressing  the like.  Since I don't want her to slide those condiments together all over her plate I started giving them to her in little ramekins, but they are porcelain and I was worried about them breaking.  Then it struck me! I started keeping the little cups that my Crystal Light came in (each "container" of crystal light has 3-5 in them). They are small, plastic and look a little like ramekins as well. She can have a couple of them on her plate, as they are so small, and I do not worry that if one falls it will break. They rinse out fast and stack inside one another with ease!

I love getting several uses out of something before getting rid of it, but I don't drink Crystal Light.  How about it, Parenthackers -- what else have you found that might make a great condiment cup?

Related: 
Shot glass as baby food dish
Sake cup or shot glass for beginner cup drinkers
 

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I use single serve applesauce cups or silicone muffin cups.

Those plastic tubs that baby food comes in.

And when you're out... grab an extra soda cup lid, and put the ketchup/ranch/whatever on that.

You could also use medicine cups that come with Motrin, Tylenol, etc. We always have extras!

I wonder if you could use plastic soda bottle caps?

Or cut the bottom out of a 20-ounce bottle? Probably wouldn't stack as well, though.

We use those little bowls that you put soy sauce in for sushi. They sell plastic versions at any local Asian food store and I've seen them sell a few for a dollar at dollar stores.

Those little black disposable cups for salad dressing and salsa and the like? Seems like we always get a few whenever we get food to go - and they come with lids!

If you can find a restaurant supply store that sells to the public, it's a gold mine for stuff like this--I've seen stainless steel condiment cups that could be used over and over. It's usually pretty affordable too.

We use soy sauce cups too...they're thick porcelain (we have softer floors) so no worries about them breaking.

Seconding MomVee, we use stainless steel condiment cups. We have ones that are about the size and proportion of a large medicine cup (like on a bottle of Pepto-Bismol). The mini pinch bowls we also use are similar in shape and size to the shallow soy sauce bowls at Japanese restaurants.

For a while, we were using the plastic condiment cups you get to put salsa in at the burrito place (is that just a Southern California thing?) but recently replaced them with some stainless steel condiment cups about the same size (1-2 oz, maybe?) from the restaurant supply store (as others have mentioned). The plastic was convenient, but not all that sturdy, so we were glad to switch to something reusable and non-plastic.

I also use applesauce cups but not just for condiments...I know each holds about 1/2 cup so I can judge and portion out cut fruitsfor mealtimes or use them to hold snacks. And I don't worry if they get snagged by one of my kids for playtime.

I have a set of silicone bakeware in my kitchen (which I love, by the way) and I use the tart cups that came with it. I don't really bake with these on a regular basis, so they were perfect. Plus, they 'stick' to my son's high chair tray so he's not able to move them around very easily.

There are all sorts of silicone "cupcape papers" out there that would be super-festive. Or I have a set of silicone measuring cups that would do the job too.

We use small melamine bowls from the asian store for things like syrup on the side. They hold about 1 cup. They're also good for when our "vegetable" with dinner is cut/canned fruit or a small salad. They're a little tippy though for giving a 1 year old a bowl of cheerios (but the volume is good)

We use the dispensing cups that come with liquid medicines like Robitussin. We also use them to contain the three magic M&Ms that my girl gets when she finishes her medicine (or poops on the potty).

You can buy plastic shot glasses in 1/2 oz up to 3 oz size at many stores (not just restaraunt supply stores). We have also cut the tops off Dixie cups in a pinch.

Seconding the applesauce cups and baby food tubs and stainless steel prep bowls, but I also have silicone "pinch bowls" used for prep from a cooking shop that are terrific.

All that being said, there's something for letting the sauces get mixed together -- my son never would have discovered he likes salsa unless it had gotten mixed with his sour cream!

A friend of mine saves the little plastic cups that the gelato place uses. I don't know what she uses them for, but they'd be great for condiments, snacks, etc. Plus, like the Crystal Light idea, it reuses something that would otherwise be tossed.

Just discovered the cups from puddings also would work, similar to the applesauce cup ideas already mentioned....

we use the small stainless bowls (i think i got them at bed bath beyond -- use a coupon!). my 5yo can get herself a bowl and squirt the ketchup out herself. mostly.

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